Mostert Runs Roughshod Over Packers
The Green Bay Packers reached the NFC Championship Game but the gulf between them and the San Francisco 49ers is wider than the gulf between the north and south sides of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The 49ers led 27-0 at halftime, making it a cumulative 50-0 between this game and the Week 12 blowout. In the rematch, Raheem Mostert carried 14 times for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. In Packers playoff history, that’s already the third-most yards allowed by the Packers. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards in trashing the Packers 45-31 in the 2012 playoffs and Barry Sanders ran for 169 yards in the 1993 playoffs. Denver’s Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl XXXII.
Davis, Dallas’ Emmitt Smith (1995 playoffs) and Seattle’s Shaun Alexander (2003 playoffs) had three touchdown runs against Green Bay.
When San Francisco extended its lead to 34-7 in the third quarter, Mostert extended his night to 196 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. It was the most yards and touchdowns against the Packers in the playoffs and the most rushing yards for the 49ers in the playoffs.
According to STATS, Mostert is the first player in NFL playoff history with 150-plus rushing yards and three-plus rushing touchdowns in one half of any playoff game. Also according to STATS, Mostert joined Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas (1993 vs. Kansas City) as the only players with 160-plus rushing yards and three-plus rushing touchdowns in a conference championship game.
It could be worse, perhaps. In 2016, the injury-ravaged Packers fell behind at Atlanta 31-0, including 24-0 at halftime. According to ESPN, the Packers are 0-10 all-time in playoff games when trailing by 17-plus points.
By our unofficial count, the Packers’ defense has missed seven tackles. Green Bay was outgained 225-93, went 0-for-4 on third down and trailed 2-0 in turnovers. In the Week 12 game, the Packers failed on their first 14 third-down plays in a 37-8 romp.